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Wall Street drops, workers get raises, economy questions

Wall Street closed its worst week since Halloween with a listless Friday after reports showed workers are getting bigger raises, but key parts of the economy still don’t look like they’re overheating.

The S&P 500 rose 8.56 points, or 0.2%, to 4,697.24 after drifting between small gains and losses through the day. It capped the first down week for the index in the last 10, after it roared into 2024 on hopes that inflation and the overall economy are cooling enough for the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates sharply through the year.

Such strong numbers are good news for workers, and they should keep the economy humming. That’s a positive for corporate profits, which are one of the main factors that set prices for stocks.

But Wall Street’s worry is the strong data could also convince the Federal Reserve upward pressure remains on inflation. That in turn could mean the Fed will…

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